Since I can’t seem to find the time right now to post anything worth reading (I realize a worthwhile post from yours truly would be a first), I figured I would steal someone else’s great writing. From Doug Powers:
Radio talk show host Michael Savage has made some people mad again.
The previous sentence could be written almost every day, but since the recent controversy hits close to home I thought I’d throw in my two cents.
On a recent broadcast, Savage said the following things about autism:
“Now you want me to tell you my opinion on autism since I’m not talking about autism … a fraud, a racket,” Michael Savage said last week on his radio show, “The Savage Nation.”
The shock jock went on to say, “What do you mean they scream and they’re silent? They don’t have a father around to tell them don’t act like a moron, you’ll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up! Act like a man! Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.’”
Autism groups and many whose lives have been affected by autism in some way are calling for Savage to be fired.
Are we a thin-skinned society or what? Sure, what Savage said about autism is stupid and medically uneducated. I can only say this because my wife and I have some experience in this area.
My 13-year-old son was diagnosed years ago with autism — albeit one of the milder forms. Though I can only speak from personal experience, Savage’s description of people with autism sounds like a man who has seen the airport scene in “Rain Man” one too many times and has been so jaded by the government-sponsored fragmentation of the American family that he assumes kids only have these kinds of problems because they don’t have a father around to keep them in line.
Though this can certainly be true, we can’t paint everything with the same brush, as tempting as that can be. Most of the families I met who have autistic children do have a father in the home, by the way.
Savage later tried to explain himself: “My comments about autism were meant to boldly awaken parents and children to the medical community’s attempt to label too many children or adults as ‘autistic.’”
Again, my family’s personal experience says otherwise. My son was tested extensively, and once the diagnosis was made, we weren’t “sold” anything, weren’t prescribed anything, and were only given some advice on how to help our son adapt socially so he can be competitive in the job market someday and be self-sufficient once he’s out there in the real world.
Believe me, as an observer and commentator on government matters, nobody is on the lookout for a “racket” or a “scam” more than I am.
Somehow Savage lumped autism in with the “Attention Deficit Disorder” problem, and the debate over passing out Ritalin to kids like Tic Tacs is a good idea. The two are completely separate disorders, and lumping them together is like blaming Savage for something that Rush Limbaugh said just because they both happen to be talk radio hosts.
Savage can be a blowhard, sure. I’ve heard Savage refer to Rush Limbaugh as a “phony.” Keep in mind this is an accusation coming from a person who uses a pseudonym — his real last name being “Weiner.” But I fully understand that “The Weiner Nation” doesn’t sound very cool when you’re trying to syndicate a radio show, so I can’t blame him for that little bit of business acumen.
Michael Savage should not be fired based on backlash — unless his employers deem him a financial liability due to lost sponsors. This would be a free market based decision. Firing Savage on no other basis other than that he hurt the feelings of Rodney Peete, Jenny McCarthy or even my wife and me isn’t the kind of America I’m teaching my kids to perpetuate.
I only wish people got as upset and demanded the firing of people who actually can make our lives worse — and with more than just words. I wish people got as angry with politicians who say and do dumb, illegal, immoral, unethical, and anti-American things as they do when a friggin’ radio talk show gives his opinion of a medical disorder.
Michael Savage can’t take my property, Michael Savage can’t steal my money and Michael Savage can’t take away my freedoms.
When the day comes when he can do all of the above, then I’ll call for his firing. Until then, I’ll focus on what matters: calling for the firing of people who can do all of those things — and I’ll be doing so side-by-side with my autistic son while “The Savage Nation” can be heard as mere background noise in the big picture.